Jacqueline Perry-Higgs’ 21EDD: ‘I have a desire to make an impact on teaching and learning by supporting teachers and administrators as they work diligently to change the lives of children’

Passionate about programs and teaching, Jacqueline Perry-Higgs’ 21EDD joined the first Ed.D. from the Northeast Leadership Academy. in the Administration and Supervision of Education cohort. While in the program, designed to prepare future superintendents, she engaged in research and discovered mentors who helped her grow as an educator. Now, she plans to apply what she learned in the program to her current position at Bertie County Schools and to potential future roles as Assistant Superintendent or Director of Studies.

Learn more about Jacqueline Perry Higgs

Hometown: Louisbourg, North Carolina

Field of study: doctorate in educational leadership, policy and human development educational administration and supervision field of study

Activities: I serve in the church and the surrounding community.

Why did you choose the NC State College of Education?

I was part of the first Ed.D. from the Northeast Leadership Academy. in the Administration and Supervision of Education cohort.

Why did you choose your field of study?

I chose pedagogical leadership because I aspire to become an assistant superintendent or director of studies in a school system. Since I started education, curriculum and teaching have been my passion. I have a desire to make an impact on teaching and learning by supporting teachers and administrators as they work diligently to change the lives of children.

What do you hope to accomplish in your field after graduation?

After graduation, I hope to continue working in the field of education. I still have the desire to become a director of studies, as well as a professor of education in a university to help prepare future teachers or administrators.

What’s your next step? What did you plan for after graduation?

After graduation, I will continue to perform my duties as Director of Secondary Education. I have a heart for public education, especially in socio-economically disadvantaged areas. There is still work to be done to identify ways to improve student outcomes and retain highly qualified teachers in poorly performing school districts.

How did the College of Education prepare you for this next step?

The College of Education prepared me for the next steps in my career by providing high quality experiences and amazing people to guide me on my journey. My advisor, Associate Professor Lisa Bass, and my co-chair, former State Superintendent of Public Education and Practice Professor Mike Ward ’77, ’81MS,’ 93EDD, held me to high standards and made me feel pushed towards greatness. I attended conferences where I presented my research and received a scholarship where I was chosen as a representative to speak on behalf of graduate students. The courses, guest speakers and one-on-one work sessions have had an impact on my personal and professional growth in education.

Do you have a favorite memory of your time at the College of Education?

My first publication! I was shocked. Dr. Bass taught us a course focused on Scenarios in Instructional Leadership. As part of the class, we were instructed to write about a script, fictional or not, and submit it to the Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership. When I received an acceptance email, I was thrown for a loop! My work has been accepted by a peer-reviewed journal. I have become a published author!

Tell us about an experience you had with the College of Education that had the greatest impact on you or your career.

Reflecting on my experiences, I must say that my favorite memory is when former State Superintendent of Public Education June Atkinson and former Governor Jim Hunt ’59, ’62MS visited our classroom. Having discussions about education policy and listening to both of them talk about their experiences was instructive. The two speakers challenged us to make a difference in education. Governor Hunt was passionate about his tenure. He made it very clear that we have the power in our hands to make a difference.

Why did you choose education?

I always wanted to be a professor at the university. I never thought of being a teacher. I’m pretty sure people have heard, “I didn’t choose education, she chose me. I was a side entry teacher. I obtained my first baccalaureate with a double specialization in communication and psychology. I was a case manager for a group home. At the time, my mother was a school secretary and the principal she worked for sent me an application to fill out. I completed the application and was hired as a fourth grade teacher. As I started my teaching career, I realized the importance of educating children. The school is a microcosm of society. One day I was teaching, and it struck me like lightning. These children will have to take care of me someday. I started teaching even harder to make sure the students in my class were ready for their next year. Education makes the world go round. Education is an important aspect of everyday life.

What are your research interests and what inspired those interests?

My research interests focus on the impacts of integration, sense of belonging and sense of community. My interests are inspired by working in low performing neighborhoods and observing how those neighborhoods are mostly filled with African American students. I am interested in the impact of the three concepts on teaching and learning in poorly performing and socially and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods.


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